Antonio Margarito continues his comeback with victory

Former three-time welterweight champion Antonio Margarito stepped back into

Alvarez and Margarito met Saturday night

Alvarez and Margarito met Saturday night

the ring Saturday night in Rosarito, Baja Mexico and narrowly edged Ramon Alvarez, the older brother of Canelo Alvarez by split decision.

Margarito improves to 40-8 with the victory, his second since returning from a four-year period away from boxing. Two judges scored the fight 97-92 for Margarito and a third had the fight 95-94 for Alvarez in a super welterweight fight. Alvarez drops to 23-5-2.

Margarito had a knockdown in the eighth round

Margarito returned to the ring in March defeating Jorge Paez Jr.

After beating Ramon Alvarez, he told reporters that he wants a shot at Canelo later this year.

 

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Light flyweight Nico Hernandez wins again, guaranteed at least bronze in Rio

Nico Hernandez, left, battles Carlos Pilataxi of Eduador on Wednesday in Rio/AP photo by Frank Franklin II

 

After not winning a medal in boxing in the 2012 London Games, Team USA is guaranteed of at least one in Rio. That is thanks to Nico Hernandez, who Wednesday defeated Carlos Pilataxi of Ecuador via split decision in the light flyweight quarterfinals.

That victory assures Hernandez, of Wichita, Kan., of no less than a bronze medal. He will next take on Uzbekistan’s Hassanboy Dusmatov in Friday’s semifinals.

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Manny Pacquiao chose Jessie Vargas because Vargas is a world champion

Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao/Photo courtesy of Top Rank Inc.

 

Promoter Bob Arum on Tuesday night told this newspaper in a telephone call from the Philippines that Manny Pacquiao has decided to fight welterweight champion Jessie Vargas on Nov. 5 from Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

A couple of other top candidates to land the role as Pacquiao’s opponent were junior welterweight champion Terence Crawford and welterweight champion Danny Garcia.

“I wasn’t hoping anything,” Arum said. “I presented all the options to Manny and after he discussed it he decided last night at dinner that that was the fight to make.”

Vargas is also promoted under Arum’s Top Rank Inc. banner.

This will be Pacquiao’s first fight since being elected to the Senate in May in his native Philippines. As it happened, Arum was on his way to attend a Senate session “to see him in action.”

Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs) said after he defeated Timothy Bradley this past April that he was retired. But once he was elected rumors of at least one more fight started. At first, the date of his return was going to be Oct. 15. But Pacquiao, 37, was told by the president of the Senate he could not fight that soon because of his duties.

“We have tremendous logistical problems because of his being a senator, but we’re working through them and everything will be fine,” Arum said. “It’s going to be very, very interesting.”

Arum said this fight will not be on HBO pay-per-view.

“We’re going to be distributing it in other ways, but it will definitely not be distributed by HBO pay-per-view,” he said.

Pacquiao was asked by Dyan Castillejo of ABS-CBN TV newtork in the Philippines why he selected Vargas.

“I chose Vargas because he is a champion,” said Pacquiao, who intimated he can’t wait to get back in the ring.

“I miss my boxing routine of training, the things i do for my sport everyday,” he said. “But I assure my people my fight and training will not affect my work as a senator.”

Vargas, 27, of Las Vegas, is 27-1 with 10 knockouts.

BoxingScene.com first reported this news.

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USA’s Charles Conwell loses his first bout at Rio Games and is eliminated

Charles Conwell .jpg

Charles Conwell/Photo courtesy of USA Boxing

 

Charles Conwell’s stay in the Rio Games was a short one. The Team USA middleweight out of Cleveland on Tuesday lost a unanimous decision to Krishan Vikas of India and has been eliminated from competition.

Conwell, 18, was classy in defeat.

“I thought I pulled out the victory,” said Conwell, who graduated from Cleveland Heights High just two months ago. “He’s a good competitor, a good, tough guy. But I thought I did enough to pull it out. I can always do better. I’m a fighter, so I’m used to going out there and trying to get the feel and go off the momentum of the fight. I wish nothing but the best to my opponent and I hope he keeps pulling out victories.”

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USA lightweight Carlos Balderas now in quarterfinals with another win in Rio

2016 Team USA Media Summit - Portraits

Carlos Balderas/Photo by Harry How, Getty Images North America

 

Team USA now has two boxers in the quarterfinals at the Rio Games, thanks to a victory Tuesday by Carlos Balderas of Santa Maria. Balderas won a unanimous decision over Daisuke Narimatsu of Japan in the lightweight division.

“The guy was physically a lot stronger than me,” Balderas said. “He kept coming and I noticed that he was taking all of my punches; he has a good chin, so I couldn’t just tap and move. I had to find my way off of him or he would have been on me the whole fight. I just used more of my experience.”

Balderas, just 19, will next face Lazaro Alvarez of Cuba in Friday’s quarterfinals. Alvarez won a bronze medal in the 2012 London Games.

“It makes me happy because USA is getting really far, like I said they would, and now it’s time to enjoy this victory and I’ll be back on Friday against the Cuban,” Balderas said.

Balderas’ teammate, Nico Hernandez, on Wednesday will take on Ecuador’s Pilataxi Quipo in the quarterfinals of the light flyweight division.

 

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USA’s Nico Hernandez out-boxes No. 2-seed Vasilii Egorov of Russia in Rio

Nico Hernandez/Photo courtesy of USA Boxing

 

Nico Hernandez of Team USA on Monday won his second bout in the Rio Games, and his latest was an upset of No. 2-seeded Vasilii Egorov of Russia in the light flyweight division.

Hernandez, of Wichita, Kan., won by unanimous decision. He will next box Wednesday in the quarterfinals against Ecuador’s Pilataxi Quipo. A victory in that one would guarantee Hernandez a medal.

Hernandez defeated Manuel Cappai of Italy in the first round Saturday.

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Rancho Cucamonga’s Daniel Franco stays unbeaten with KO of Gallardo

Daniel Franco/Photo courtesy of BoxRec.com

 

Daniel Franco of Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday remained unbeaten when he knocked out Marcello Gallardo at 44 seconds of the fifth round of their scheduled eight-round featherweight bout at Oracle Arena in Oakland. They tangled underneath the light heavyweight fight between Andre Ward and Alexander Brand, won by Ward via wide decision.

Franco, 24, decked Gallardo in the first and fifth rounds. Franco is now 14-0-3 with nine knockouts.

“I felt great right from the start,” Franco said afterward. “Everything we worked on in training camp came together tonight. I’ll take a short time off and it will be back in the gym to get ready for my next fight.”

Gallardo, of Renton, Wash., is 7-4-2.

 

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Nico Hernandez, Carlos Balderas will box Saturday for Team USA in Rio

Nico Hernandez/Photo courtesy of USA Boxing

 

Light flyweight Nico Hernandez and lightweight Carlos Balderas will be in action Saturday when boxing begins at the Rio Games.

Balderas, of Santa Maria, will take on Kazakhstan’s Berik Abdrahkhmanov in the morning session at Riocentro Pavilion 6. Balderas, of Wichita, Kan., will square off with Manuel Cappai of Italy in the evening session.

There are six American males and two females competing for Team USA.

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Shelly Vincent, Heather Hardy can’t wait to punch each other in the face

Heather Hardy/Photo courtesy of DiBella Entertainment

 

Heather Hardy and Shelly Vincent don’t like each other. On Aug. 21 – they’ll get the chance to do something about that mutual discord when the undefeated contenders square off in a 10-round featherweight bout from Coney Island in New York City (on NBC Sports Network).

Hardy, of Brooklyn, is 17-0. Vincent, of Providence, R.I., is 18-0. Their unblemished records are on the line, but that doesn’t seem to be the most important thing to them. Rather, that would be teeing off on the other.

“I really can’t wait to punch Shelly right in the face,” Hardy said this week. “… Shelly started her career a little bit before me. She started showing up at my fights with all these antics from almost my pro debut and talking about wanting to fight me.

“It was inappropriate at the time, but then she signed with (promoter) Lou (DiBella) and we’ve both developed in our careers. Hats off to her, it worked. I’m ready to brawl.”

Vincent is equally anxious to throw down with her rival.

“I can’t wait to get in there and hit Heather,” she said. “She thinks there’s no pop in my punches, but she’ll be surprised on fight night. Heather and I really just don’t like each other. I’ve tried to make this fight for years and she wouldn’t take the fight.

“I’ve seen her lose some of these fights. I don’t believe she’s undefeated. I feel like she’s avoiding me.”

Hardy is ranked No. 1 by the WBC at super bantamweight. Vincent is No. 7 at featherweight. They will square off underneath the welterweight main event between Errol Spence Jr. (20-0, 17 KOs) and Leonard Bundu (33-1-2, 12 KOs), which will be on NBC.

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Andre Ward believes Alexander Brand could be dangerous on Saturday

Andre Ward/Photo courtesy of Roc Nation Sports

 

Alexander Brand of Colombia has 26 professional fights, with all but four of them taking place in his homeland. Three were in the States, but none on a big stage. The other was in the Dominican Republic.

Brand (25-1, 19 KOs) is therefore nothing close to a known commodity. But Andre Ward, who Saturday will tangle with Brand in the light heavyweight main event at Oracle Arena in Oakland (on HBO), says he knows what he needs to know about the 39-year-old Colombian.

“I know enough about Brand,” said Ward, a former super middleweight champion. “He’s got everything to gain and nothing to lose. He swings for the fences with every punch. He’s a dangerous guy to fight.”

Brand has a knockout ratio of 73 percent. Ward’s, at 29-0 with 15 knockouts, is 52 percent. But Ward is so much better, that disparity won’t mean much when he squares off with Brand.

A victory for Ward will mean he’ll next challenge Sergey Kovalev for his light heavyweight title Nov. 19 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

 

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